Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Clean Your House Like a Professional

The pros use only what works.  What do they use? 
Home buyers love a clean home.

Yes, location. Yes, price. Yes, view. Yes, square footage.

Yes, uncluttered closets and staged rooms!

But unless clean is in the mix, they won’t fall in love with your home on the market.

Expert Advice

To discover what tricks I could learn about cleaning, I went to the pros. I went to the Cleaning Tips Forum on That Home Site. That's where I gathered up for this post the best professional tips to make cleaning your home easier. Because you already have enough (more fun) stuff to do to get your home staged to sell.

Stainless

To clean stainless steel surfaces the  pros say to use either Stainless Steel Magic or Zep foam. They like that Zep clings to vertical surfaces and has a nice, citrus scent. Some people commented that Stainless Steel Magic helps repel fingerprints. That's welcome news.

Shower doors

To clean the area where glass shower doors overlap use a small disposable, sponge paint brush. Almost any cleaning solution will work with the sponge. Rinse and store the brush where it can dry out between uses. Glass shower doors that ride in a track are easily removable if you have some muscle. Just lift up, and out. Even I can do it. Just make sure you have a handy place to set the door before you go yanking it.

Tubs

To clean non-slip strips on the floor of a tub or shower use WD-40 and a stiff scrub brush. Also recommended is a product called TRR, which stands for toilet ring remover. You can find TRR in most drug stores or WalMart.
Choose spray, aerosol, or wipes.

Microfiber fabric

To clean microfiber upholstered furniture pieces mix a 1/4 cup powdered oxygen cleaner in a bucket of very warm water. Wring out a cloth in this solution, and wipe the microfiber fabric with the cloth. As the cloth gets dirty, use a new one. Allow the fabric to dry thoroughly, then take a soft brush, and brush the material to revive the nap.

Grout

To clean grout borrow or buy a steamer, also called a pressure steamer. There are no chemical fumes, it’s quick, and you don't need to lug a variety of solvents from room to room. I've used a steamer and can vouch for this tool's being a work-saver.

Floors

To clean asbestos floor tiles. Cover with a layer of commercial 3M floor stripper, available at janitorial supply stores, and let it work according to directions. Or you can apply straight 409 cleaner with a long-handled scrub brush, and let it sit until the dirt is loosened. Make sure you have adequate ventilation. Use a wet /dry shop vac to pick it up. All the old grime and wax will come up.  Wax it with a wax made for vinyl flooring.

Glue

To remove sticky residue after peeling away self-sticking shelf liner  apply rubbing alcohol on a cotton cloth to dissolve the glue. WD-40 also works on glues.

Bowl ring

To get rid of a persistent ring around inside the toilet bowl use a pumice stone, but be sure to keep it wet and rub gently to avoid scratching the porcelain surface. A black emery board or drywall sanding paper work the same way. Bar Keeper’s Friend is a good stain remover because it contains oxalic acid. Disinfect the bowl first with bleach or Lysol, and use rubber gloves.

Best Tips 

Best cleaning procedure tip is to start from the top when cleaning any room, and work down, whether dusting, vacuuming, or wiping.

The best cleaning technique tip is to always wipe surfaces first with a dry microfiber cloth. Then, clean them with the correct solution, sometimes water, sometimes degreasers, sometimes solutions that polish. Wetting a surface just turns whatever is there to mud. Loose dirt is easier to remove than mud.

The winner of the favorite products and tools of professional cleaners? Microfiber cloths that catch and trap dirt and other loose particles. Steam cleaners that sanitize hard surfaces. Bar Keepers Friend because it removes difficult organic stains. Ordinary baking soda because it's only mildly abrasive and it deodorizes as well. Dawn dishwashing liquid because it cuts grease so well. Magic Eraser for cleaning smooth surfaces of almost anything. Bona floor cleaner to clean wood floors. And WD-40 for all kinds of tasks, as evidenced here.

Connect  with the pros

The Cleaning Tips Forum is part of the Garden Web, an easy-to-use website that's part of  Houzz. You can search for particular answers, share information, or ask questions. Be sure to check out the Buying and Selling Homes Forum at That Home Site also. You can connect with other homeowners who are selling their homes, get encouragement, and research just about any topic related to real estate.

At these forums, you'll see what other sellers are saying about clean homes. Clean homes feel good and they sell better. The best part is that cleaning is one of the least expensive DIY home improvement projects out there.

Do you want to make quick and easy work of giving your home that "open house sparkle" from top to bottom? Do you want In my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar, I outline a simple, efficient and effective method to get your home clean and keep it that way. You can download the book now with just a few clicks. You'll find that it's packed with advice about DIY staging, it starts paying for itself immediately. I guarantee it!

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